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Thread: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

  1. #46
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    Much like the river barges the Germans intended to use as landing craft in the hypothetical Sea Lion...
    Oh that was not even their worst idea. This most be pretty close.

    Lay wood packing in the barges with railway tracks on them, place wagons full of stores on the tracks, carry spare railway track and winch motors with plenty of SWR.
    Barge lands and bows removed, wooden ramp constructed then railway tracks laid on the beach to link up with other tracks from other barges and a main line laid parrallel to the waterline, large truck or halftrack drags the first set of rail wagons off the barge where they are then connected to winch ropes on the winches which have been positioned along the railtrack. The stores wagons are then winched along the beach and over the dunes inland.

    Or due to the lack of KM ships for beach fire support - lash artillery pieces to the bows of some ships and use them in lieu.

    But getting back to Dunkirk - as much as it upsets a certain type of persons thinking - the Germans allowed the Brits and a large number of French to escape - because they could not stop them. So much easier to try and make up a reason instead of admit they had reached the end of their capability.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  2. #47
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    ...

    But getting back to Dunkirk - as much as it upsets a certain type of persons thinking - the Germans allowed the Brits and a large number of French to escape - because they could not stop them. So much easier to try and make up a reason instead of admit they had reached the end of their capability.
    They also seem to ignore that the British did evacuate large portions of the BEF at other places besides Dunkirk. And also fail to realize that Dunkirk was not the last battle, but was the prelude to the final Fall Rot operation to mop up the rest of the French Army and secure France. They met stubborn French resistance and the first successful tactics to blunt "Blitzkrieg" in the hedgehog tactics of Weygand. In no small part of the German difficulties were born of exhaustion of men and machines as well as shortages in materials. If the French had any sort of significant mobile strategic reserve left to counterattack, the Germans might have had some troubles...

  3. #48
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    Lay wood packing in the barges with railway tracks on them, place wagons full of stores on the tracks, carry spare railway track and winch motors with plenty of SWR.
    Barge lands and bows removed, wooden ramp constructed then railway tracks laid on the beach to link up with other tracks from other barges and a main line laid parrallel to the waterline, large truck or halftrack drags the first set of rail wagons off the barge where they are then connected to winch ropes on the winches which have been positioned along the railtrack. The stores wagons are then winched along the beach and over the dunes inland.
    I don't know the precise landing spots intended for Sea Lion, but I suspect that the Germans would have found it impossible to winch any wagons over the cliffs often backing the beaches in south east England.

    Also, would the incoming tides have covered and or damaged the tracks and impeded operations?
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  4. #49
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    I don't know the precise landing spots intended for Sea Lion, but I suspect that the Germans would have found it impossible to winch any wagons over the cliffs often backing the beaches in south east England.

    Also, would the incoming tides have covered and or damaged the tracks and impeded operations?
    The navy wanted a narrow landing front, the army a wide frontage, there was a huge variance in terrain types, one of the areas was around Romney - which is in Romney Marshes - The name gives a hint as to what the terrain was like inland from the beach.

    It was another of the bad ideas they had - very impractical especially for an invasion or even ressuply, but they did publish it in documents captured by the Soviets and made available when the old Soviet Archives were unlocked, scanned and put online a couple of years ago.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  5. #50
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    The navy wanted a narrow landing front, the army a wide frontage, there was a huge variance in terrain types, one of the areas was around Romney - which is in Romney Marshes - The name gives a hint as to what the terrain was like inland from the beach.
    Sounds like very poor staff work if the Germans thought their somewhat Heath Robinson railway system was going to work in that sort of country.

    Better staff work would at least have provided pontoons and something like Bailey Bridges for crossing the marshes and flooded areas, but the supply train and general logistics for what seems like a massive exercise to achieve that would seem to have been well beyond Germany's already seriously limited capacity to undertake and sustain a seaborne assault.

    Thanks to your last post, and the marvels of Google, I found that the British anticipated a landing in this area and prepared for it by flooding some areas and being able to flood others, plus, depending upon the questionable reliability of a few sites thrown up by Google, a plan to flood parts of the Marshes with oil based fuels and set fire to them.

    Now I know why the Romney Marsh sheep and their derivatives in Australia were suited to wet and swampy conditions. I knew they were valued for that half a century ago when I worked in the bush, but it wasn't until now that I realised they were named after the swampy area in which they were bred to survive.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 07-24-2016 at 08:44 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  6. #51
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Fortunately the German General Staff didn't get Heath Robinson's secret designs for crossing difficult country like the Romney Marshes.

    https://au.pinterest.com/pin/397513104590344186/
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 07-24-2016 at 10:15 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  7. #52
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	7738These are a few pics I took at Cuckmere Haven. The Seven Sisters cliffs were obviously impassable, but the Cuckmere was a planned access route. This too was planned to be flooded. The beach consists of a bank of shingle created for land reclamation.
    You can see a part of the field of fire in the picture taken from atop the bunker. There are several of these bunkers, but they could have been outflanked by scaling the cliff. There is also a line of Dragon's-teeth on the shore side of the bank (no pics.).

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    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by 32Bravo; 08-28-2016 at 07:08 AM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  8. #53
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Very cool photos! Thanks for sharing.

  9. #54
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Glad you like them.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  10. #55
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    A few more of the general area around Cuckmere.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	7739 This pic is just slightly to the shoreside of the shingle bank. A natural flood plain, it is now a water fowl reserve.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	7740 This is where the cliff comes down to the beach. It is a very unstable cliff due to water erosion caused by tidal activity. The cliffs frequently collapse in part along their length.


    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	7741 This is a mile or so inland from the beach.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 08-28-2016 at 06:03 PM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  11. #56
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Last edited by 32Bravo; 08-28-2016 at 06:11 PM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  12. #57
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    Even today a lot of the proposed invasion areas have pretty poor road infrastructure (although they had a much better rail system back then).

    Getting ashore in sufficient numbers to be able get inland is one thing, it is another to be able to move inland through the terrain and with limited resources behind you.
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  13. #58
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    I would think that the use of airbourne forces would have helped to overcome some of the problems of rapid escalation from the landing areas. Particularly with the capture of RAF base, of which there were quite a few in the Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Furthermore, I would suggest that the experience gained in negotiating the forests of the Ardenne would have been considerable. Once beyond the cliffs of the south coast, there is excellent country for armour to break out. To some extent, the German use of horses and infantry afoot, might have been an advantage. Unlike the Soviet Union, the distances to and between major conurbations were not great.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  14. #59
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    The Germans did not gain even local superiority in the air during the battle of Britain which means the RAF would have a field day against the slow German transport aircraft which had suffered many losses in the low countries (and were not fully replaced by Barbarossa) against virtually no air power.

    With no real means of resupplying those forces once the initial drop was made they would not be able to really link up with the seaborne forces. In 1940 they were still not the large well trained and equipped force that went into Crete and suffered huge losses against inadequate forces (little air cover or AA defence, a large amount of poorly trained and equipped forces lacking in artillery and armour and who were unfamiliar with the ground working with allies they could not adequately communicate with).

    Even the ground forces when (or if) they got acroos with their first echelon supplies were cut off from reinforcement and resupply (some areas it would be three days presuming shipping was still available before the second wave could land). Much of the armour was to be landed from frieghters and craned onto docks after capturing a port (not an easy feat to do), fire support was to be provided by artillery tied down to the bows of merchant ships as the Navy had too many tasks to do with its very limited resources (especially as many ships crews were to be reduced to the bare bones to supply crews for the freighters, barges, small boats and requisitioned vessals from home and abroad).
    IN the days of lace-ruffles, perukes and brocade
    Brown Bess was a partner whom none could despise
    An out-spoken, flinty-lipped, brazen-faced jade,
    With a habit of looking men straight in the eyes
    At Blenheim and Ramillies fops would confess
    They were pierced to the heart by the charms of Brown Bess.

  15. #60
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    Default Re: Why did Guderian stop at Dunkirk?

    I'm sure that you're right for the most part. Did Goering attempt to win local air superiority? I think that remains a much debated topic. Arguably, the RAF was on the brink when the emphasis was switched to London as a target. There are a lot of assumptions in your statement. Maybe true opinions, but not proven facts. Clearly, the main fact is that they didn't come. Enjoy!


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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